Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Yankees are contemplating Mark Reynolds, Michael Young and Brian Roberts as they seek to add to their infield.
Reynolds would be a re-signing after finishing last season with the Bombers. He hit .236/.300/.455 with six homers in 36 games with the Yankees and .220/.306/.393 with 21 homers in 445 at-bats overall. Young came in at .279/.335/.395 in 519 at-bats with the Phillies and Dodgers, while Roberts hit .249/.312/.392 in 265 at-bats for the Orioles.
As things stand now, the Yankees are looking at Kelly Johnson at second base, Eduardo Nunez at third base and Derek Jeter at shortstop, with Brendan Ryan in a reserve role, assuming that Alex Rodriguez’s suspension is upheld. Ideally, they could find someone capable of challenging both Johnson and Nunez for at-bats, but there really isn’t anyone like that left in free agency, unless they want to go the Yuniesky Betancourt route. Of what’s left, Eric Chavez would probably be their best option. However, he’s a big injury risk. Reynolds and Young would both be more attractive if they weren’t such poor defenders. As is, the return of Reynolds seems the most likely scenario.
The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.
Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.
Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.
While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.
“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”